Our Trusted Board
Auntie Michele E. Lee
Teasurer of the Board
Auntie Michele E. Lee
Michele E. Lee is a multi-disciplinary Soul who has worked in the creative arts for 40 years as an exhibiting artist, activist, writer, curator, author, historian, cultural anthropologist and educator.
Her life works are listed below:
Author, Historian, Cultural Anthropologist
For six years, commencing in 1996, Ms. Lee documented the practice of Traditional African American healing. Starting with her own family lineage and healers who are from Mississippi, Louisiana and Virgina, Ms. Lee branched out to locate other healers in the south and parts of the eastern seaboard, weaving in and out of several indigenous nations. This journey took her to base herself in the south and live down a dirt road in rural North Carolina for 4 years. She sought out other healers throughout the south/southeast by word of mouth and often traversed through the backwoods with them looking for medicine plants. Ms. Lee apprenticed with several of the elders who shared their practice and knowledge with her. Her book, Working The Roots: Over 400 Years of Traditional African American Healing is the culmination of this sojourn!
Chair of Art Against Apartheid for the SF Bay Area actively involved in protesting against racism in South Africa and here on our home turf in the USA and against the growing homeless population in the 1980s to today.
Currently she works with and is a tribal member of the Afro-descendant Nation USA which is recognized by the Organization of American States. Her work with them involves national liberation, decolonization, sovereignty, repair-a-tions/restoration and creating safe thriving communities for Afro-descendants in the USA.
Art Exhibitions and Residences
Ms. Lee is a visual artist who has exhibited at museums, galleries, universities and art parks. Some of Lee's more notable exhibitions were at The Alternative Musuem in NYC, Long Island University (Brooklyn, NY), Santa Monica Museum of Art (Santa Monica, CA), Le Chambre Blanche (Quebec, Canada), Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in NY, University Art Museum (U.C. Santa Cruz), California African American Museum (Los Angeles), Sargent Johnson Gallery (San Francisco). She worked in the medium of painting, sculpture, installation, large scale earthworks and performance.
Ms. Lee has held artist residencies at Skowhegan (Maine), Socrates Art Park (NY) and Long Island University (NY).
Wadastick Artists and Scholars Residency and Cultural Center, Co-founder and Executive Director
In 1998, Ms. Lee co-founded Wadastick Artists and Scholars Residency and Cultural Center in rural North Carolina. The residency hosted artists from across the country and had sites at the Tuscarora Indian Nation, St. Helena Sea Island, South Carolina, in the heart of the Gullah culture and in, El Potrero, Mexico, a small clay-building village. Wadastick ran successfully for six years.
Visual Arts Curator for the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, CA.
Curated exhibitions at the Berkeley Art Center in Berkeley, CA,
Sargent Johnson Gallery in San Francisco
Long Island University Galleries.
Education / Teaching
Ms. Lee has taught art as adjunct professor at:
The University of Rochester, Art Department
U.C. Berkeley, Department of Art Practice
California College of the Arts and
other public and private institutions nationwide.
Ms. Lee holds a California Teaching Credential and currently teaches at a public school in east Oakland, CA -- her most challenging career yet!
Lee holds a Masters degree from The University of Southern California, Bachelor's degree from Antioch College and an A.A. degree from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in San Francisco.
Ms. Lee resides in Oakland, CA and has two grown children, a son and daughter.
Dvina D. Estrella Ramey
I am Iya Awujo DvinaEstrella Ramey.
Iya Awujo means "Community Mother" (Co-Madre) In Yoruba
I'm the Founder and Director of;
Non-Profit Water & Honey Community Well Inc.
Sistas In Service International ( A Womens Traditional Wellness Society via Water & Honey...),
and Incense Gurl Handcrafted and Fragrant wares established in 1998,
I am 44 and the mother of 7 womb born children, a bonus son, a daughter in love, and a grandbaby, ages ranging from 30-2. My family and lineage hails from North, Central and South America The Caribbean, Europe and Africa. I identify as an Indigenous African Ascendant Woman. I was born in Oakland raised in Berkeley, and currently live in and serve the California, Oakland, San Francisco greater Bay Area!
I love to; sing, dance, garden, travel, cook for and host family and friends, work with youth, commune with elders, work with my hands, innovate, study history and culture, and I'm generally up for anything I can do to uplift and support my community, while also having fun, especially in nature!
Water & Honey Community Well's
mission is focused on preserving and promoting Cultural Literacy for Indigenous and Diasporic peoples ascendant from Africa and the America’s.
Water and Honey Wellness has also developed a branch of the org. called Sistas In Service International which focuses on Womb work.
I am the lead doula, educator, counselor, herbalist and ceremonialist behind S.I.S.I.
Sistas in Service International, Womens Temple Society and Traditional Wellness program has been establised with the goal to support women's womb healing, body autonomy, awarness, empowerment, and to encourage interdependance and camaraderie amongst powerful, independant, innovative women, which in turn helps families, which in turn helps communities.
https://www.Sistasinservice.com (Womens Temple Society and Traditional Wellness program of Water & Honey...)
* 34 years training in vocal arts performance presentation
* 15 years serving as Full Spectrum Doula * A homeschooler of 10+ years
* 8 years Training with Omnira Institute and Singing Traditional Yoruba Songs with Awon Ohun Omnira
* Indigenous Baby wearing and Belly wrapping Educator
* Trained as Full spectrum Doula with Shafia Monroe's former, International Center for Traditional Childbearing, currently, Shafia Monroe's Consulting
* Mentee'd with Samsarah Morgan's Shipirah's Circle Doula Program
* Studied Closing of the Hips and Bones with Maria Acension Ramos Bracamontes's, Como Te Amo Midwifery
* Certified Community Herbalist via Indigenous Remedies
* Trauma Informed Care Trained via; Catholic Charities Day Star Program, Aremisa May's, Keepers of the Womb, Nola Brantley Speaks, Norma Ward's CSEC Mentor training
* Lived experience of 17 pregnancies resulting in live births, miscarriages, abortions, c-sections, breech birth ,hospital birth with and without medical pain management, and homebirths
* A personal Survivor of Human trafficking, Suicide attempts, Drug Abuse, and Domestic violence
* Peer Counselor via Inside Outside Circle Foundation
* Certified ( Adult) End of Life Doula
* First aid level Adult, Toddler, and Infant CPR Trained EMR
* Lactation informant and advocate via The B.L.A.C.K. Course
* Childbirth Education Facilitator 6 wks or 2-day 7hr intensive
* Ordained Minister and Celebrant in good standing of the U.L.C..
* Practitioner of Ifa Yoruba Tradition , Danzante de Luna (Moondancer) and Sacred Pipe Carrier in the Mexica/Anahauc Tradition,
I look foraward to witnessing and walking along side you in the work you are doing to find your way.